Selected poems by Catullus, Ronsard, Shakespeare, Johnson, Campion, Blake, Whitman, Dickinson, Valéry, Villa, W. C. Williams, Garrigue, and anonymous. Illustrated from lithographs by Henri Matisse made for the Florilége Des Amours of Ronsard.
More closely than the clinging vine
About the wedded tree,
Clasp thou thine arms, ah, mistress mine!
About the heart of me.
Or seem to sleep, and stoop your face
Soft on my sleeping eyes,
Breathe in your life, your heart, your grace,
Through me in, kissing wise.
Bow down, bow down your face, I pray,
To me, that swoon to death,
Breathe back the life you kissed away,
Breathe back your kissing breath....
–Pierre de Ronsard, translated by Andrew Lang